Palatal expanders

The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) the upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on the upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below will instruct you about when and how to adjust an expander.

When you achieve the desired expansion, the appliance will be worn for several months to solidify the expansion and prevent regression.

Adjusting the palatal expander

Step 1

In a well-lit area, tip the patient’s head back.






Step 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.






Step 3

Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.






Step 4

Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for the insertion of the key should now be visible. (You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.)